William A. Slaymaker's 1874 Opera Chair Patent Model

William A. Slaymaker from Louisville, Kentucky received a U.S. patent for an improved opera chair. Patent no. 151926 was issued on June 9, 1874.
The patent featured a design that would close automatically when it was not in use. This ability to fold up allowed for a more compact form. The desk was designed to be simple and inexpensive yet pleasing in appearance. He described the desk as "simple and inexpensive" yet "pleasing in appearance." The model has a wooden seat with a frayed cushion. The seat is curved and folds up to the backrest..The ironwork on the sides of the chair and armrest feature a detail of grapes. There is also a footrest bar. While this chair was initially designed for the opera, it was also used for school desk chairs.
We are not aware of any additional information about the inventor/patentee.
Currently not on view
date made
patent date
Slaymaker, William A.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Kentucky, Louisville
Physical Description
cloth (seat cover material)
metal (side supports and joinery material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 4 3/4 in x 7 in x 3 3/4 in; 12.065 cm x 17.78 cm x 9.525 cm
ID Number
catalog number
patent number
accession number
Patent Models
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Cultures & Communities
American History Education Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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